Last week I took a call from a gentleman that was genuinely seeking answers to the question “Why does God make babies that are not healthy?”
He was sincere in his question. He desperately needed answers. He had witnessed first-hand the hardship placed on a family member when their child was born with severe health problems. Why would God create an imperfect child?
I did my best to explain to him, but I think we hung up with him not completely placated.
Why does a loving God allow suffering on earth? That is the age-old question and I’m afraid for some, it will never be answered in a satisfactory way.
There is a tremendous amount of heartache in the world!
Last week in Cape Town Africa 11 newborn babies were killed when a fire ripped through the hospital in Senegal.
A teen suffered stab wounds at park.
A woman was pushed off her scooter and robbed.
A weekend sailing trip left 3 Texas Boy Scouts Dead.
Hurricane Agatha killed at least 11, with 20 missing in Mexico.
Brazil floods kill at least 106 people.
Drone attacks on Saudi Oil installations.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad ramps up.
Russia’s war in Ukraine. Violence in Jerusalem. Dozens of people killed in a stampede at a church event in Nigeria. One billion meth pills seized as Asia sees record drug increase.
Suicides, murders, fatal house fires, deaths due to illness, rapes, deadly car crashes, war crimes, sanctions, droughts...there is no shortage of bad news in this world.
Where is God in all of this?
If God is love; if God is all-knowing, why does He allow such tragedy in the world? In our lives?
We know Jesus said we would have tribulations. But in the same breath he told us we could have peace.
Jesus says: "…in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NKJV
How can I have peace, when I am surrounded by hatred, lies and evil?
Isaiah 26:3 tells us that we can not only have peace, but perfect peace, if we keep our mind on Him.
Philippians 4:7 tells us “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” –NKJV
I want that kind of peace, don’t you? I want that kind of peace while at the same time having strong faith and knowledge that God is not to blame.
We suffer today but suffering and tribulation have been going on for thousands of years.
John the Baptist, who spoke out against the adultery of Herod, was beheaded.
Stephen, who, preaching the gospel before the Sanhedrin and proclaiming God's judgment because of the sins of the people, was rejected, and stoned.
Paul, who was persecuted, beaten, and imprisoned as he preached from place to place, was finally killed in Rome.
Jesus himself who preached God's grace and judgment was persecuted by his hearers, plotted against by his adversaries, rejected, tried, and finally crucified.
These men had it rough! They suffered and they died suffering, but they all knew there were better days coming!
Take Stephen for example.
“When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him…While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:54-60 NIV
We can have that same kind of peace in the middle of our suffering. It was not there just for the disciples. It was not there just for the martyrs. It is there for you and for me.
I want that kind of peace, don’t you? I want that kind of peace while at the same time having the strong faith and knowledge that God is not to blame.
“When bad things happen in the world, God is often blamed. Understanding why He allows evil and suffering isn’t easy…
When God created mankind, He intended for us to live in perfect harmony with Him, without pain, suffering or evil. To maintain this way of life, God instructed the first man (Adam) to avoid doing one thing: eating fruit from a certain tree in the Garden of Eden where he lived.
God warned Adam saying, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17, NKJV).
But Adam and his wife, Eve, decided to disobey God and eat from the tree anyway. It’s this disobedience that caused sin and death to enter the world, and mankind to be separated from God. This is why we have evil today.
Though sin puts a barrier between us and God, He provided a solution: His Son, Jesus Christ.
Imagine two cliffs facing each other. On one side is God and on the other is mankind. The gaping hole in between is sin.
When Jesus willingly died on the cross, He filled the gap so that we could be forgiven of our sins and have full access to God again. When you believe in your heart that this actually happened and accept Jesus as your Savior, your life is changed forever; evil and death cannot win. You can look forward to eternal life with Him in heaven.
As imperfect people, we cannot reach a holy God without Jesus Christ. Jesus gives us a direct path to God.
When considering why God allows evil, it’s important to remember what seems unfair to us is not unfair by God’s standard. The Bible says God’s ways are not our ways—and God's way are always best.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” —Isaiah 55:8-9
For our own good, God desires for every person to follow His commands. But He did not create robots; He gave us a choice to obey or disobey, to believe or not, to live in sin or to seek forgiveness. Oftentimes, like Adam and Eve, we decide to go our own way—and this is why evil will continue to exist until Jesus returns.
Yes, God allows evil. But He is still loving, merciful and compassionate. God promises evil will not go unpunished, and He does not overlook sin.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” —2 Peter 3:9
Rejecting God and His way of life causes evil to continue in the world. But accepting God and His Son into your life ensures evil and death will ultimately have no power over you.
Rather than ask, "Why does God allow evil?" try asking God to, “Deliver us from evil.” In other words, ask God to change your heart so that you would do what pleases Him, rather than what’s evil or sinful in His sight.
Romans 12:21 also says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (ESV). A “good” life is one that is centered on faith in Jesus Christ, the only cure for evil and its consequences.” (billygraham.org)